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Sunday, December 18, 2005

 
The Maggid's Niggunim


Notes to Yetzaveh Tzur Chasdo by the Maggid. [Click to enlarge]
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This Monday night and Tuesday, the 19th of Kislev, is the Yahrzeit of the Maggid of Mezritch, successor to the Baal Shem Tov as the leader of the Chassidic movement.
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from the book, “The Maggid of Mezritch”:
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In 1761, a frail aging man who walked on crutches took over the reins of the fledgling Chassidic movement. Described by his mentor, the Baal Shem Tov, as a "pure golden menorah who needed only to be lit," and an "endless fountain," Rebbe Dov Ber moved to Mezritch where his every word reverberated in the hearts of his numerous disciples, each of whom became a luminary in his own right. In twelve short years Chassidus was transformed from a "sect" concentrated in the south-central Polish province of Podolia into a movement that encompassed major segments of European Jewry.
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The Baal Shem Tov's teachings, initially known only to a select circle of disciples, soon became the inheritance of thousands. In the words of a later Chassidic Master, Rebbe Shlomo of Radomsk: "The Baal Shem Tov bestowed all the fountains of wisdom upon the Maggid, and he became the leader of the generation. The light of his holiness sparkled in the disciples who followed him in each era, by whose words we live until the coming of the Moshiach" (Tiferes Shlomo, "Rimzei Purim").
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The Maggid on Negina:
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Rebbe Yechezkel of Kuzmir said, in the name of the Maggid [of Mezritch] – the zemiros [songs] of Shabbos are the wings of the Shabbos seudos [meals], to bring them up on high.”
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The Maggid of Mezritch elucidates the transcendent power of music in II Kings (3:15): “As the musician played, the Spirit of the G-d came upon him.” One often views a singer or musician, when he is singing or playing, as one who merely seeks to draw attention to his talents. But the musical instrument certainly has no ulterior motives, as it is inanimate. But if the menagen, the musician, is like the nagen, the musical instrument, without any ulterior motive, then the Spirit of G-d can rest upon him. That is, the musician must become an instrument himself, so as to allow G-d’s music to come upon him and through him.
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We don’t have too many of the Maggid’s niggunim. However, we do have a few – which come to us from the Chassidim of Chabad-Lubavitch, and Breslov.
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From Chabad, the “Niggun Shalosh Tenuos” is described as “A Niggun of three stanzas, attributed to the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid of Mezritch, and the Alter Rebbe [first Rebbe of Chabad], respectively.
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A video of this niggun sung at a Lubavitch Farbrenghen [Chassidic gathering] can be seen here.
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The audio of this niggun, with explanation is here.
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Kumi Roni BaLaila:
[from Ben Zion Solomon’s liner notes to the Ashreinu recording - Breslov]:
This niggun is attributed to the Maggid of Mezritch, and the words were set by Rabbi Nachman Burstein of Yerushalayim most appropriately to this melody. The tune was sung by Breslover Chassidim in Uman with great dveykus, longing and emotion. It speaks for itself, conveying to anyone who understands music, the spiritual longings that flow from the heart. When the Chassidim in Israel first heard this melody, they were unable to take leave of it, singing it untiringly for hours.
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[from the Jewish Music Reviews blog]:
The song starts out with very rousing string work. I love this song. It just makes you want to get up and dance, and it definitely makes you happy to be a Yid. According to the CD insert: A lively dance melody, attributed to the Great Maggid of Mezritch, the foremost student of the Baal Shem Tov. Often song in Breslov, Tzfat after morning or evening prayers.
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Links – longer version.
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Clip, Yosef Karduner. Thanks again to A Simple Jew, who discussed this niggun here.
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Shabbos Kadsheinu
[from Ben Zion Solomon’s liner notes to the M’ein Olam Haba recording]:
The music is attributed to Rabbi Dov Ber, the Great Maggid of Mezritch, successor to the Baal Shem Tov. This tune has been sung in the Breslov community in Israel as a Shabbos table niggun and for dancing for over fifty years [that liner was written in 1986!].
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A Video clip, by Simply Tsfat.
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Rikud - Dance Tune
There's another dance tune, a wordless niggun from the Maggid, about which Breslov has a tradition. Again, from Ben Zion Solomon's notes to the Azamer Bish'vochin recording: "After dancing to Sabeinu on Friday night, there is a Breslover custom to continue dancing to Bar Yochai, Chidush K'moso and the following four dance tunes, making a total of seven." One of those four is from the Maggid.
It can be heard here, performed by Ben Zion's son Noah and Shimon Lanzbom of Soulfarm.
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Finally, if anyone knows where we can hear the niggun [Yetzaveh Tzur Chasdo] which is notated above, please let us know in the comments section, thanks!
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Zechuso Yagein Aleinu - May the Maggid's merit protect us all!

Comments:
Eitan Katz recently did a new version of Kumi Roni on is 2005 CD. See track #5 here:

http://www.mostlymusic.com/eitan-katz-lemaancha-p-2726.html

Kumi Roni is one my favorite niggunim! (I like Karduner's version best)
 
Thanks, Simple! I probably like the Solomon family's version the best, but it's also the first one I heard, so that may have something to do with it!

Eitan is good, and so is his brother Shlomo, who's big into Reb Carlebach's music!
 
Another nigun of the magid can be heard on the new album of the sadigura chassidim-Hakum Malchus David-Nigunei Ruzhin-Sadigura.
track#10
(Being that the rebbes of Ruzhin-Sadigura are direct descendants of the Magid of Mezritch,their tradition can be considered most reliable)
This nigun is also well known in other chasidic groups
link to the album-www.israel-music.com/mendi_werdyger/hakem_malchut_david/
 
Yitz,The belz hakofah niggun you discussed in a previous post,is attributed to the mezritcher magid on lipa schmeltzers l'eila album.I also have in my collection a cd that was released in honor of the wedding of the son of the Bostoner Rebbe of Flatbush-an album of boston wedding niggunim -which contains a chupa niggun attributed to the Mezritcher Magid.
this nigun is sung to the words ein kelokeinu during hakofos on simchas torah.
 
Nachman,

Thanks for all your informative comments! I still insist that the "Belzer Hakafa" is actually from the Chernobler Maggid, the second Rebbe - Reb Motteleh. This I have from one of his descendants who bears his name - Rebbe Mordechai Dov Ber Twerski of Hornesteipel - Denver, who now lives in Flatbush, NY.
 
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